There’s plot to attack Appeal Court President, Imo Tribunal members – Group

Stakeholders in Imo state under the aegis of Imo Political Stakeholders Forum (IPSF) have condemned the alleged conspiracy by agents of the state to attack and blackmail the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, and members of the State Election Petition Tribunal.

According to the group, the development followed the relocation of the National/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal hitherto sitting at the Old High Court premises in Owerri, to the High Court Complex, Mararaba Nyanya in Nasarawa state.

Unveiling what it called the grand plot to embarrass, attack and denigrate the reputation of the President of the Court of Appeal and the Tribunal members, through a sponsored protest by phantom groups backed by known agents of the state government, the leader of the Forum, Amb. Sam Nwandu, said the action has further confirmed why the vast majority of Imo people commended the relocation of the Tribunal to Nasarawa State, to enable the Tribunal dispassionately discharge its duties and dispense justice without fear or intimidation.

Nwandu continued: “It is widely believed that the Tribunal may have refused to ‘play ball’ which was why it was initially difficult for the Tribunal to get a venue to conduct their hearing, after many twists and turns from the government. And when hearings were progressing, suddenly, the tribunal members were reportedly threatened to shut down proceedings in Imo or risk their lives.With the ugly stories emanating from Imo state, any responsible judicial system will speedily move the tribunal out of Imo, to safety, beyond the reach of those who play politics with human lives. And that exactly, was what the President of the Court of Appeal did and for which he has been singled out for the assault by the enemies of due process and rule of law.”

He added: “I dare say that the Tribunal members were lucky that they have left Imo state as they may have suffered similar fate with officials of the National Industrial Court in Imo state, who were beaten, abducted and dumped in cells, forcing the Industrial Court Judge to flee the state for fear of his life, after similar protest and bonfires were set up in front of his official quarters.

“We therefore urge the President of the Court of Appeal to ignore familiar political antics and focus on giving Nigerians justice in all situations.

“Like we said in an earlier release, this relocation will give the judges the right atmosphere to look into how election results above Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), was announced by the electoral body, INEC. Most of the actual results of the Feb 25th House of Reps, Senate and House of Assembly elections of March 18, were in no doubt contrary to original results as voted by the indigenes in that election.

“INEC BVAS was active during the February and March 18 State Assembly election including the supplementary election and going by the uploaded results through, what INEC declared was in complete variance with the uploaded figures by BVAS. For instance, in Okigwe  Federal Constituency, the total accreditation uploaded in the INEC BVAS machine was not same with the huge figures of over 40,000 used in declaring APC winner against the Labour Party that won the election, in Owerri municipal where less than 14,000 was accredited over 70,000 was used to declare APC winner against the Labour Party Candidate, in the State Assembly seat for Ideato North local government, the PDP scored 5,063 votes as against the APC of 4,097 votes and the result was uploaded on INEC server but APC was declared winner against the PDP candidate who won the election with figures above inec accreditation record. In Mbaitoli Federal constituency won by Labour, accreditation figures was manipulated to declare APC winner in a Supplementary election they lost. In Oguta/Ohaji/Oru West Federal constituency that PDP candidate Kingsley Uju was leading despite being hunted arrested on election day by Uzodinma’s hatchet men, APC was declared winner with election figures above the BVAS recorded accreditation figures.

“In Orlu Federal Constituency which was lost by APC, figures above accreditation numbers were used to declare APC winner. In Okigwe Senate and Orlu Senate, results were announced in favour of APC with fabricated figures above the total number of votes accredited by the BVAS machine. It was same situation in Ahiazu Mbaise where results was announced with fake BVAS accreditation figures in favour of APC.

“Our contention is that these issues should be looked at critically by the Judges and ensure that justice is served in the hope of restoring citizens confidence in the electoral process.”